Non-Accusative and the syntactic profile of late biblical hebrew

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This paper examines the widespread classification of ?t before the nominative as a trademark of Late Biblical Hebrew. The paper begins by defining the nature and scope of this syntactic usage and reviewing its possible explanations. Next, a full list of the relevant examples is presented and alleged post-biblical cognates are examined. This data leads to the conclusion that contrary to the common scholarly sentiment, ?t nominativi cannot be considered a late feature within Biblical Hebrew. The evidence from Mishnaic Hebrew that was erroneously associated with ?t nominativi enables, however, the identification of a hitherto unknown late biblical structure, namely, the demonstrative ?t ?šr. Biblical occurrences of this usage are recognizable in Jeremiah, Zechariah, and Qohelet. The paper concludes that while ?t nominativi is by no means a late usage, the demonstrative ?t ?šr may be classified as late with more certainty. This conclusion calls for a re-examination of the syntactic profile of LBH as drawn in the influential works of the field, chiefly those by Kropat and Polzin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-250
Number of pages18
JournalVetus Testamentum
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

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  • Biblical Hebrew
  • Late Biblical Hebrew
  • linguistic dating
  • syntax


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